New Book | Classical Caledonia

Posted in books by Editor on April 17, 2021

From Edinburgh UP:

Alan Montgomery, Classical Caledonia: Roman History and Myth in Eighteenth-Century Scotland (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020), 232 pages, ISBN: 978-1474445641, £75 / $100 (also available in ebook and PDF formats).

Explores early modern interpretations of Roman Scotland
• Examines an important aspect of the development of Scottish identity, a subject being brought to the fore again in recent debates surrounding Scottish independence
• Offers an in-depth study of a largely overlooked aspect of Scottish historiography
• Makes extensive use of archival and manuscript material, much of it previously unpublished
• Takes a broad, multidisciplinary approach
• Examines the influence of the Scottish Enlightenment, James Macpherson’s Ossianic poems, and the rise of Romanticism

This book focuses on early modern attitudes towards Scotland’s ancient past and looks in particular at the ways in which this past was not only misunderstood, but also manipulated in attempts to create a patriotic history for the nation. Adding a new perspective on the formation of Scotland’s national identity, the book documents a century-long, often heated debate regarding the extent of Roman influence north of Hadrian’s Wall. By exploring the lives and writings of antiquarians, poets, and Enlightenment thinkers, it aims to uncover the political, patriotic, and intellectual influences which fuelled this debate. Classical Caledonia casts light on a rarely discussed aspect of Scotland’s historiography, one which played a vital role in establishing early modern notions of ‘Scottishness’ at a time when Scotland was coming to terms with radical and traumatic changes to its position within Britain and the wider world.

Alan Montgomery received his PhD at the Birkbeck, University of London in 2016 and published several papers in key journals, including The Journal of British Identities and The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Montgomery was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2019.


1  Imagining a Classical Caledonia: Sir Robert Sibbald’s Vision of Scotland’s Roman Past
2  Walled Out of Humanity: Sir John Clerk and his Circle
3  Resisting the ‘Conquerors of the Universe’: Celebrating the Caledonian Rejection of Rome
4  ‘Beyond the Vallum’: English Interpretations of Scottish History
5  ‘Monuments and Delights of the Arts’: Rediscovering the Material Remains of Rome in Scotland
6  Reconquering the Highlands: Hanoverian Interpretations of Roman Scotland
7  The Age of ‘Agricolamania’: Early Modern Uses and Abuses of Tacitus’ Agricola
8  Forging a Nation: The Spurious Histories of Charles Bertram and James Macpherson
9  After Ossian: Changing Interpretations of Roman Scotland

New Book | The Architecture of Scotland, 1660–1750

Posted in books by Editor on April 17, 2021

From Edinburgh UP:

Louisa Humm, John Lowrey, Aonghus MacKechnie, eds., The Architecture of Scotland, 1660–1750 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020), 672 pages, ISBN: 978-1474455268, £150 / $195 (also available in ebook and PDF formats).

A rich, revisionist overview of Scotland’s early classical architecture
• Steps decisively away from the ‘Scottish castle’ genre of architecture
• Contextualises the work of Scotland’s first well-documented grouping of major architects—including Sir William Bruce, Mr James Smith, James Gibbs, and the Adam dynasty
• Documents the architectural developments of a transformational period in Scottish history
• Beautifully illustrated throughout with 300 colour illustrations

This architectural survey covers one of Scotland’s most important periods of political and architectural change when mainstream European classicism became embedded as the cultural norm. Interposed between the decline of ‘the Scottish castle’ and its revival as Scotch Baronial architecture, the contributors consider both private and public/civic architecture. They showcase the architectural reflections of a Scotland finding its new elites by providing new research, analysing paradigms such as Holyrood and Hamilton Palace, as well as external reference points such as Paris tenements, Roman precedents, and English parallels. Typologically, the book is broad in scope, covering the architecture and design of country estate and also the urban scene in the era before Edinburgh New Town.

Louisa Humm works at Historic Environment Scotland as Senior Casework Officer responsible for listed building consent work in Glasgow and other parts of South-West Scotland. Her interests include early eighteenth century gardens and designed landscapes, railway station architecture, and waterworks (particularly the Loch Katrine Scheme).

John Lowrey is a senior lecturer in architectural history in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh University. He is also Dean of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Science. His research interests are mainly Scottish and mainly in the long eighteenth century, with a special interest and wide range of publications in the architecture and urban design of the Enlightenment period, the early classical country house of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, and the designed landscape of Scotland.

Aonghus MacKechnie is Professor of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow; he also teaches at the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He has researched and published on Renaissance-early modern architecture, culture, and Romanticism in Scotland, and also on the history and culture of the Highlands, in particular as author of Carragh-chuimhne, Two Islay Monuments and Two Islay People: Hector Maclean and John Francis Campbell (Ileach, 2004). His most recent book is his co-authored Scotch Baronial: Architecture and National Identity (Bloomsbury, 2019). Currently, he is a contributor to the forthcoming The Buildings of Scotland: Lothian (Yale University Press).


Setting the Scene
Introduction — Aonghus MacKechnie
1  Political Economy and the Shaping of Early Modern Scotland — Allan Macinnes

Classicism and the Castle
2  The Paired Columned Entrance of Holyroodhouse as a Solomonic Signifier — Ian Campbell
3  Exiting Europe? The Royal Works in the Age of 1689 Revolution and 1707 Union — Aonghus MacKechnie
4  Sir William Bruce: Classicism and the Castle — John Lowrey
5  A Classic Looks at the Gothic: Sir John Clerk, Ruins, and Romance — Iain Gordon Brown

The Business of Building: Trades, Materials, and Pattern Books
6  Scottish Ironwork, 1660–1730 — Ali Davey and Aonghus MacKechnie
7  The Roof Structure of George Heriot’s Hospital Chapel and Roof Design in Scotland during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries — Anna Serafini and Cristina González-Longo
8  Thomas Albourn, William Bruce’s Plasterer: An Englishman and the Best Plaisterer That Was Ever Yet in Scotland — William Napier
9  Colen Campbell, James Gibbs and Sir John Vanbrugh: Rethinking the Origins of the British Architectural Plate Book — James Legard

The Country House
10  The Architectural Innovations of Mr James Smith of Whitehill (c. 1645–1731) within the European Context — Cristina González-Longo
11  From England to Scotland in 1701: The Duchess of Buccleuch Returns to Dalkeith Palace — Sally Jeffery
12  Women Patrons and Designers in Early Eighteenth-Century Scotland: Lady Panmure and Lady Nairne — Clarisse Godard Desmarest
13  Architectural Works by Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun — Rory Lamb
14  Mannerism in the Work of John Douglas in Eighteenth-Century Scotland — Dimitris Theodossopoulos

15  ‘The Inexpressible Need of Enclosing and Planting’: Country House Policies in Scotland, 1660–1750 — Christopher Dingwall
16  The Terraced Garden in Scotland in the Seventeenth Century — Marilyn Brown
17  Alexander Edward’s European Tour — John Lowrey
18  William Adam and Formal Landscape Design in Scotland, 1720–1745 — Louisa Humm
19  Adam and Antiquity: An Arcadian Retreat at Arniston? — Nick Haynes

Urban Architecture
20  Town Housing and Planning: McGill, Gibbs, and Dreghorn in Early Georgian Glasgow — Anthony Lewis
21  Interpretation of European Classicism: Three Eighteenth-Century University Libraries — Deborah Mays
22  Edinburgh and Venice: Comparing the Evolution in Communal Living in Geographically Challenged Mercantile Communities — Giovanna Guidicini
23  Living Horizontally: The Origin of the Tenement in Paris and Edinburgh — Clarisse Godard Desmarest
24  William Adam’s Public Buildings — David W. Walker

25  Was Scotland a ‘Narrow Place’? — Ranald MacInnes

End Notes

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